black history

Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Full Episode

Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll premieres nationally during Black History Month on the legendary performer’s 88th birthday, Friday, February 26 at 10 p.m. (check local schedule). The one-hour documentary traces how Fats Domino’s brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues morphed into rock and roll, appealing to black and white audiences […]

Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

New Orleans as Music Mecca

Fats Domino, born and raised in New Orleans, was surrounded by music as a child. “New Orleans produces a disproportionately large amount of talented musicians and it really comes up with the raw material,” says pianist Jon Cleary in Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Earl Palmer, longtime drummer for Fats Domino, […]

B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Full Episode

B.B. King, born Riley B. King, was one of the most influential and celebrated blues musicians of all time. From his roots as a sharecropper’s son, working in the cotton fields of Mississippi, he rose to become a living legend — the most renowned blues singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer of the past 40 […]

B.B. King: The Life of Riley

B.B. King’s Funeral Procession

The legendary blues guitarist and singer B.B. King died on May 14, 2015, at the age of 89. See footage of King’s funeral procession, from Memphis, Tennessee, to his final resting place in Indianola, Mississippi. Celebrating his life, and honoring him upon his death, the procession included marching bands on Beale Street in Memphis, the […]

Black History Month: Fats Domino and B.B. King

American Masters is proud to present the broadcast premieres of B.B. King: The Life of Riley and Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock N’ Roll during Black History Month this February. The iconic musicians B.B. King and Fats Domino define the very genres of music invented in America — the blues and rock n’ roll, respectively.

B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Timeline of B.B. King’s Life – King of the Blues

Blues musician B.B. King released over 50 albums in his lifetime. With 15 Grammy Awards, the legendary guitarist holds the record for the most won in the Blues genre. September 16, 1925 B.B. King was born Rileigh King in a cabin on the bank of Bear Creek in the tiny town of Berclair, MS, in […]

Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Timeline of Domino’s Life, Hits and Career Highlights

Fats Domino: Timeline of His Life, Hits and Career Highlights By Rick Coleman February 26, 1928 Antoine Domino, Jr. is born in New Orleans to Antoine Calice Domino and Donatile (Gros) Domino. His midwife grandmother Carmelite Domino (who was born into slavery), delivers Antoine, the youngest of eight Domino children. He is the only one […]

Althea

Full Film

This is the story of Althea Gibson (1927-2003), a truant from the rough streets of Harlem, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world in the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win at Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open) — a decade […]

Althea

Race in the Sport of Tennis

In the 1950s Althea Gibson was one of the country’s best tennis players but because of her race, she wouldn’t be granted membership to most tennis clubs. Though race concerned the tennis world, it didn’t concern Gibson as much. According to Arvelia Myers, Althea Gibson’s friend and tennis professional, and tennis champion Billie Jean King, […]

Althea

Althea at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills

Althea Gibson is seen in home movies at the esteemed West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, a mecca of tennis and national championships in Queens, New York City. The footage was taken by Bob Davis, her practice partner, who recalls how the setting was both alien and marvelous to them. Nick Bollettieri, Hall of […]